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Ackland shares its art during lunch

Created 10 years ago under the name Lunch with One, the museum’s Art for Lunch program was made to showcase local professors’ perspectives on particular installations at the museum.

UNC comparative literature professor Janice Koelb will continue the tradition of scholastic art discussion today with her lecture, “Re-Imagining the Natural World,” in the museum’s study gallery.

The topics of Koelb’s comparative literature course with same name will be the subject of the seminar. The class studies Western art of landscapes at the Ackland and focuses heavily on mentored research of the pieces. Koelb said coming to this event is a great way for people to see how much students are learning from these exhibits and hopes to inspire students to take arts courses.

“This is actually the second time this course has been offered and students seemed to really like it the first time,” Koelb said.

“The academic programs board for Ackland has asked me to give a talk about the course, teach the audience some things and then take everyone up to the study gallery to look at the pieces which my students will study this semester and which will be on display.”

Ackland Public Programs Manager Allison Portnow and Director of Academic Programs Carolyn Allmendinger aim to bring knowledgeable professors, such as Koelb, from a range of departments to speak about the art. But Portnow said this event is for more than just UNC students.

“It is open to everyone,” she said. “We expect that most of the people that can attend come from campus, but we also have some of our own Ackland staff come to these events because it’s great to have an insightful professor teaching us about the art we walk past every day, but many community members come as well.”

Allmendinger said she likes the program because it always gives audience members a new perspective on the art.

“You can always be sure attending this program that you’ll learn something different,” Allmendinger said.

“In an art museum, people are accustomed to getting the curator’s point of view. This program, however, is wonderful because it takes some of those same works of art and produces a faculty perspective, allowing for us to see it in a different way.”

Portnow and Allmendinger agreed that the Art for Lunch tradition is one of the many ways the Ackland works to not only share art with the University, but also to expand the community’s understanding and appreciation of local pieces.

“Finding different ways to think and learn about things is a very important part of scholarship in a university,” Allmendinger said. “And one that we keep alive with our programs at the Ackland.”

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